Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government Communications Security Bureau is looking into claims that North Koreans could be hacking into New Zealand computer servers for backdoor access to the internet.

But he said if it was allowing ordinary North Koreans access to outside world, that was "a good thing."

The claims about access have been made in a report by Recorded Future, a Massachusetts-based company that specialises in providing private companies with cyber-threat intelligence.

It said there had been near absence of malicious cyber activity from North Korea from April to July this year which indicated that most of its state-sponsored activity was perpetrated from abroad.


Its data demonstrated there were significant physical and virtual North Korean presences in several nations around the world where North Koreans were likely to be engaging in malicious cyber and criminal activities.

"These nations include India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nepal, Kenya, Mozambique and Indonesia.

"Our source revealed not only above-average levels of activity to and from these nations, but to many local resources, news outlets and governments, which was uncharacteristic of North Korean activities in other nations."

The report also said that 10 per cent of the activity observed during the timeframe involved China, not including the internet access points provided by Chinese telecommunications companies.

The report also said there could be as many as 4 million mobile devise in North Korea but most people did not have access to the internet.

Brownlee did not necessarily see access by North Korea it as a bad thing - a view that is likely to raise eyebrows among Five Eyes partners.

"North Korea is a very isolated country so if there are North Koreans who are finding a way to get in contact with the outside worlds, that's a good thing," he said.

"If it's the elites keeping it all to themselves, I just further reinforces how corrupt that regime is."


Asked about whether the Government should be concerned about the level of China-supplied infrastructure in New Zealand's telecommunications systems, Brownlee said the same infrastructure was used throughout the world "so I don't think that it is the problem that various conspiracists might immediately leap to."

Pressed further about Australia's concerns about Huawei's infrastructure deals Brownlee said "I think it is too far gone...I don't think it is worth getting too strung up about that."

Brownlee said the investigation began today when he first found out about the claims.
"GCSB are having a look at it."